Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) has written a letter to President Peter Mutharika demanding the firing or voluntary resignation of presidential aide Dr. Heatherwick Ntaba – who is also chairperson of a committee tasked to fight against abuse of persons with albinism .
APAM president Ian Simbota confirmed the developmet in an interview with a local radio on Wednesday.
According to Simbota, no progress has been made despite his association demanding the release of a report of a Commission of Inquiry President Mutharika appointed to investigate killings and abductions of persons with albinism.
He said the commission of inquiry was appointed on March 5 2019 and was expected to give a report to Mutharika on April 30 2019, but nothing happened.
“The commission had ample time. At one point in January, chairperson of the commission, retired Supreme Court judge Justice Richard Chinangwa, told the media that they were not doing anything as they were waiting to get some instructions from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC),” he said.
Presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani refused to comment much claiming the President’s office hasn’t yet seen the letter.
He however defended personal attack on Ntaba saying: “It is the work of the committee not an individual. It is not Dr. Ntaba Commission but government so let us not personalize the matter.”
Apparently, Ntaba is among high-profile politicians of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who are implicated by suspects in the murders of MacDonald Masambuka, a person with albinism, that he was the one who sent the suspect to abduct and kill him.
Ntaba was implicated by one of the murder suspects; Alfred Yohane that prompted trial judge Zione Ntaba to recuse herself from the murder case of Masambuka, after her uncle Hetherwick Ntaba was implicated.
A celebrated writer and commentator Stanley Onjezani Kenani said Ntaba should have resigned as presidential aide.
Kenani further bemoaned that the justice system in Malawi is “rigged against the poor”, stating that Buleya Lule, a key suspect in the abduction of a boy with albinism, was killed “like a dog” in police custody “at the mere mention of his [Ntaba] name.
“Professor So-and-so and Dr. So-and-so, at the mention of their names in a court of law, a gag order was hastily issued, and the accused was told to shut up,” Kenani wrote on social media in apparent reference with Judge Ntaba’s order to media not to shield the names of high profile ruling party politicians implicated by the suspects.
Malawi, one of the world’s poorest and most aid-dependent countries, has experienced a surge in violent attacks on people with albinism over the past four years.
In many cases, those with albinism are targeted for their body parts to be used in witchcraft.
Albinism, a genetic disorder, causes a partial or total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes.
As a result, many albinos often experience eye problems and have a heightened risk of skin cancer.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :